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The Benefits of Topsoil Screening Machines

Having filtered topsoil is essential for those working in construction, land development and improvement, or waste management. It can impact the efficiency and effectiveness of your teams and also create a safer work environment. If you’re using unfiltered topsoil, you’re putting your equipment, workers, and project at risk. Items and debris that are hidden within the topsoil can damage your machines. These items can also seriously injury your employees. If this happens, you may have to delay work on your project and run the risk of missing your deadline. To avoid this consider investing in topsoil screening equipment. With the right machine, you’ll be able to filter out hidden debris before it becomes a problem. 


What is topsoil screening?

Topsoil refers to the first 12 inches or so of dirt. It is often cleared away during construction and land development projects. However, many items can get trapped and partially buried in this layer of earth. They can include plant roots, rocks, stones, and even garbage. Items like cans and containers, tools, small pieces of equipment, nails, etc. 

To reduce these items’ hazards, you can use topsoil screening equipment to filter them out. Topsoil screening refers to the sifting of the dirt to separate the soil from other items like rocks, stones, garbage, weeds, and more.  Topsoil that has been screened is safer to work with, and you won’t need to worry about items like tin cans or nails working their way into your equipment. 


How do soil screeners work?

A soil screen is a piece of machinery made up of a strong, large metal frame that rises four to six feet off the ground. Inside the structure are mesh wires or screens. These screens are often positioned at a slant so that debris can run off and not mix with the topsoil. When this happens, the debris will create a pile at the front of the topsoil screening equipment. On the other side of the screener, it may be open or have containers underneath. Located on the side of the topsoil screener is a motor. It’s this motor that causes the equipment to vibrate, which, in turn, loses the soil and separates it from debris. Topsoil screening equipment is made large enough to handle significant piles of dirt without issue. 


The benefits of screening topsoil with a machine?

Screening topsoil can be a time-consuming process when done by hand. It is impractical to attempt to screen larger amounts of topsoil this way. Instead, using topsoil screening equipment reduces the time and effort needed and speeds up the process. There are a number of benefits to screening topsoil, including:

  • Removes problematic items from soil and prevents them from damaging your equipment. This includes items like 
    • rocks 
    • stones 
    • tree branches 
    • Metal
    • Garbage
  • Screening topsoil gives you dirt with a consistent particle size that creates a more unified and aesthetically pleasing appearance  
  • Topsoil that has been screened has better irrigation and reduces the chance of foundational damage to buildings and property
  • It’s best used for landscaping projects to create a beautified space when construction is complete
  • Reusing the soil is a good environmental practice for the industry
  • Allows for additional revenue as it can be sold to gardening stores and supply shops


The different types of topsoil screeners

It’s important to remember that when you search for the best topsoil screener for your project, you don’t need to pick the most complicated. Rather, a straightforward design will get the job done. Begin by considering factors such as:

  • How much topsoil do you need to screen
  • How will you transport the equipment from site to site
  • What is the demand for topsoil in your locale
  • How much are you willing to invest in purchasing topsoil screening equipment

Once you understand how topsoil screening fits into your business plan and project, there are various types of equipment you can select from. 

Stationary screeners

If you’re looking to complete simple topsoil screening, a stationary screener might be the best choice. This equipment does not rely on electricity. Instead, you dump the load on the screen, and the topsoil will filter through, leaving more oversized items on the screen. One of the benefits of a stationary screener is the ease of care. You won’t need to invest in ongoing maintenance with this topsoil screening equipment as there are no moving parts. Best of all, stationary screeners are strong and built to last. 

Vibrating screener

Topsoil screen equipment that offers versatility is the vibrating screener. You can use either 100v electricity or Honda gas-powered motor to vibrate the composite spring-mounted screening platform. North 42’s vibrating screen is capable of sifting many types of materials out of the topsoil. You’ll also be able to select from different screen sizes to suit various jobs.

Power screeners

These are some of the most powerful topsoil screeners available. North 42 carries the Honda power screener that measures 10 ft wide by 5 ft deep. It also has a screening deck with 1ft catch boards. The machine is equipped with a Honda engine, plus a hydraulic vibrator, lift axle and angling deck. You can interchange the screens and secure them with bolts. This allows you to change the screen size depending on the type and amount of soil you’re screening. Screens come with Torsion axles, lights and safety changes. 

For jobs that don’t require the size of the Honda power screener, North 42 also carries an 8ft wide electric power screener. In this machine, the vibrator is powered by 110v electricity and has 700lbs of shaking force. Another advantage to these screens is their versatility and the ability to easily move them with pegs in the front. The speed of the screening process is controlled with a rubber flap. If you need to adjust the screen, you can alter the size or install a replacement using the bolts.  

Grizzly screeners

Looking for a heavy-duty topsoil screener? A Grizzly can improve the topsoil screening process, saving your crew time and effort. These screeners are used as static separates for large loads. They are reliable in removing larger rocks and debris from the dirt. The tubing bars are its secret. These features are robust and can hold up while screening more oversized, heavy items. They are available in different sizes from 2in and up. Grizzly screeners come in multiple sizes, such as the 9ft model or the 10 ft model


Using screened topsoil is crucial for anyone working in construction, land improvement or waste management. By using a topsoil screener, you can have peace of mind that your employees, equipment, and project are safe. 

Contact North 42 and let us help you find the right topsoil screening equipment for you.